<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/cloudmusic-icon.png”>Steam your music from the cloud right now, without waiting for invitations or paying for the privilege. The headlines may currently be dominated by Google Music, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive, but cloud-based music is not a new thing and by no means limited to those three companies. Sure, those three companies will no doubt lead the field very soon, but that doesn’t mean the alternatives aren’t worth checking out.
So what are these free streaming music alternatives? I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look at the cloud-based players that haven’t been in the news lately. You just might end up liking one of them.
Do you have a Dropbox account? You can already use Droptunes then. Simply add some music to your Dropbox folder and log into Droptunes; voila! Now you can play your music from your browser:
The player can be flash or HTML5 based, which is nice depending on the browser you’re using.
Upload your music; listen to it online. If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s the exact model the web’s three biggest companies are working on now. The difference? We reviewed it back in 2009.
The service today offers 1 gig of free service and sports a new user interface, along with some region restrictions.
Here’s another service that lets you upload your music and stream it from the cloud. Best of all, it integrates well with Android, making it, at the very least, a worthy alternative to Google Music. Simon reviewed it last year.
Weird name, but I suppose the Internet is running out of names for web apps.
Why upload all of your music when it’s already online? Grooveshark offers free, legal online music, and it seems that pretty much every song you can think of is freely streamable via this service.
Be sure to check out Better Grooveshark, the flash and ad-free Grooveshark experience as well.
Don’t want to upload all of your music to the cloud, but still want access to your collection? Try out ZumoCast, the service that turns your computer into a personal cloud.
You’ll need to leave your computer on at home to use this anywhere else, and how well it works of course depends on the quality of your home Internet connection. Still, ZumoCast gives you access to your media collection anywhere. The service is temporarily closed to new users, but should be back very soon.
Alternatives are what the web is all about, so be sure you’re familiar with the alternatives before you decide on a cloud-based media player. It’s very interesting to see the big companies’ approaches to cloud-based music playback, but the fact is they didn’t come up with the idea in a vacuum. Cloud-based music has been around for years.
Which service do you think is best? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because as always we’d love to hear from you. Heck, we’d also like to hear from anyone who isn’t sure why anyone would want their music to live on the cloud.